RALEIGH (WTVD) -- In the 1800s, North Carolina struggled to find its place in the economy as farmers were met with difficulty growing crops, as a result of inadequate soil.
It was a slave who first used charcoal to cure tobacco, resulting in a type of tobacco, known as Brightleaf.
It turned out that this technique was ideal for tobacco plants grown in the dry, sandy North Carolina soil.
This innovative process served as the catalyst that launched the state into a tobacco-producing giant.
More recently, the tobacco industry has suffered due to increased regulations, and uncertainty, with the emergence of the e-cigarette.
Despite these challenges, North Carolina continues to rank as the highest tobacco-producing state in the country.
Drone 11 flies over Johnston County tobacco field